While YouTube has an API to get thumbnails of its videos, there is also the possibility to construct the URLs of the thumbnails out of the URL of the video.

The thumbnails are at http://img.youtube.com/vi/VIDEO_ID/0.jpg to http://img.youtube.com/vi/VIDEO_ID/3.jpg with VIDEO_ID being the Base64 string at the end of the URL of a YouTube video.

Hopefully this URL hack will work for a long time :) An example can be seen on IRCgg.

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